Tuesday, 29 January 2013

NG 52

New game 52 is now up.

Round 1: L N E I E S D C A

I had LINE, LINES, LENSED (I was thinking of gravitational lensing and inferring a verb sense of LENS; I think that may be defensible, but the Macquarie does not list it so it is invalid), CANDIES, CANDLES, LINSEED, and LICENSED.  After time I added CLEANSED and SILENCES / DECLINES as other eights.

The remaining eights are SALIENCE and DELAINES (DELAINE: "a thin wollen fabric, often having a printed pattern").

My selection: LICENSED

Round 2: S S O N O I P E N

I had SONS, SOON, POISONS, amused myself with the invalid SNOOPIES and PONINESS, and then spotted PENSIONS for eight.  After time I noted SPOONIES (plural of SPOONY: "someone who is foolishly or sentimentally amorous") as another eight that I should have seen when I found SNOOPIES.

The other eights are SPONSION ("an engagement or promise, especially one made on behalf of another"), OPSONISE ("to increase the susceptibility of (bacteria) to ingestion by phagocytes"), and OPSONINS (OPSONIN: "a constituent of normal or immune blood serum which makes invading bacteria more susceptible to the destructive actions of the phagocytes").

The sevens are PENSION, OPSONIN, SPINOSE ("full of spines; spiniferous; spinous"), SPONSON ("a structure projecting from the side of a ship, as a gun platform, or a platform for handling gear"), SONNIES, and IONONES (IONONE being a certain type of ketone or a mixture thereof).

My selection: PENSIONS

Round 3: Target 273 from 75 25 50 100 2 6

The standard method is clearly appropriate, with the offset of 2 being available.  I started with 273 = 6*50 - 25 - 2 and then noted down an alternative of 273 = 2*100 + 75 - 50/25.

My selection: 273 = 6*50 - 25 - 2

Round 4: R A C S U N E I T

A handy set of letters; I had SCAR, NARCS, CARNIES / ARSENIC, SINUATE ("bent in and out; winding; sinuous"), and then realised this was a retsina mix and found CANISTER and URINATES.  After time I noted other eights of CURTAINS, CENTAURS, and SURICATE (another name for the meerkat), but could not find a nine despite a reasonable amount of searching.

Commenter Victor turned up the nine that I was missing: TRUANCIES.  Beautifully spotted by Victor, but falls afoul of the vagaries of the Macquarie: TRUANCY is only listed as a short entry at the end of the definition for TRUANT, and the plural form is not given.

(I feel a need to adjust the rules I work under, since it seems clear that the show is not coming back; adhering too strictly to its policies seems inappropriate.  But I'll want to think about that somewhat more.)

The other eights are RECUSANT ("refusing to submit, comply, etc."), TAURINES, and SCANTIER / CERATINS (CERATIN being a variant spelling of the protein KERATIN).

My selection: URINATES

Round 5: F K T M I A E P E

I had KITE and FAKIE ("Skateboarding a manoeuvre in which the skateboarder rides backwards with the weight balanced as in a normal stance").  Sadly MEAT PIE is only listed as two words.  After time I noted PIETÀ ("a representation of the Virgin Mary mourning over the body of the dead Christ") as another five.

Five is the best possible here; the others are KEMPT and TEMPI (one plural form of TEMPO).

My selection: FAKIE

Round 6: Target 434 from 50 3 3 7 5 1

Neither nearby multiple of 50 seemed directly useful, but I noted that the offset from 350 was 84 which was also divisible by 7.  That got me to the factorisation 7*62 and the pair of solutions 434 = (50 + 3 + 3 + 5 + 1)*7 and 434 = (3*(4 + 1) + 50)*7.  Then I looked at the tweaking options of 8*50 again and found 434 = (7 + 1)*(50 + 5) - 3 - 3.  Finally I tweaked my way down from 9*50 to get 434 = 3*3*(50 - 1) - 7.

My selection: 434 = (50 + 3 + 3 + 5 + 1)*7

Round 7: T T T D U O A M C

I had TOUT and DUCAT ("any of various gold coins formerly in wide use in European countries").  A final L instead would have been nice for MULATTO, but a last vowel would have been a better option with E allowing MUTATED and an I allowing MATTOID ("a person of abnormal mentality bordering on insanity").

There are two longer words, though, both of six-letters: TOMCAT and OUTACT.

The other fives are DATUM, OCTAD ("a group or series of eight"), DATTO (variant spelling of DATO: "(in the Philippines) an indigenous chief"), COUTA (shortened form of the fish BARRACOUTA), and COTTA ("a short surplice, with short sleeves or sleeveless, worn especially by choristers").

My selection: DUCAT

Round 8: Target 572 from 3 7 5 1 7 8

I looked at 10*57 to get close, thinking that the leftover number would be 1 or 3 and I would get one away.  It turned out that the leftover number was an unhelpful 5 and so my backup was a two-away 570 = (7*8 + 1)*(7 + 3).  Then I realised that going from 560 left useful tweaking options and that was enough to find the solution 572 = 7*(8*(7 + 3) + 1) + 5.

This turns out to be the only solution.

My selection: 572 = 7*(8*(7 + 3) + 1) + 5


It took me a couple of seconds to consider SCHOOL and then unravel the rest to get PRESCHOOL in 3.4s.

I had a pretty good game today; the only non-maximal round was the last letters one, and the conundrum speed was decent.  I do wish I had seen TOMCAT.


Jan said...

I started really well, but then bombed out on a letters round, and then the last numbers round, and it took me too long to find the conundrum - especially since I had it nearly written down in about 10 secs.

2*100 + 75 - 50/25 = 273
TAMP, TIME Even after time I couldn't get any better than a 4
(1+7)*(50+5) - 3 - 3 = 434
(8*7 + 1)*(7+3) = 570. 2 away
PRESCHOOL 153.9 secs

Geoff Bailey said...

If it's any consolation, I only managed to get five-letter words on the last two letters rounds. It's a shame MEAT PIE is two words! I think you did well with the 434, by the way.

In unrelated news, I've just discovered that the forum I set up (linked from the petition site) was not quite as unused as I thought. It turns out that the default setup is for all new users to be moderated, which I either didn't realise at the time (it is kind of hidden) or had forgotten. There are over 114000 posts in the moderation queue, and it looks like all of them are spam.

So I'm shutting that forum down, a six-month waste of time and resources. Ah, well. It would probably have happened much earlier if I had realised what was going on -- that's too much volume for me to deal with.

Mike Backhouse said...

Here are mine

2 off but got this just after time 6*50-(25+2)=273
(5+3)*50+7-3)+1=433 (1 off)
x - COUTTA (one T too many)
Jan's way

I think you did well Jan. And thanks for indicating the last two letters rounds were tough Geoff as I was struggling.

Victor said...

Tough last two letters rounds indeed.

3. 273 = 50/25*100 + 75 - 2
4. TRUANCIES (?? validity uncertain)
6. 434 = (7 + 1)*(50 + 5) - 3 - 3
8. 5-away: 567 = (7*(5 + 3) + 7)*(8 + 1)
9. -

Geoff Bailey said...

Ooh, CARNETS is a new word to me -- thank you, Mike!

Victor: TRUANCIES is an excellent find (I looked for a nine for some time but did not spot that) but alas the Macquarie is rather fickle about it. TRUANCY only gets a mention in the entry for TRUANT, and has no specific plural form listed. :(

Sam Gaffney said...

3. 273 = 6*50 - 25 - 2
4. CENTAURS/CURTAINS. Saw TRUANCIES just after time, but learnt it was invalid a while ago.
5. MATE. Obscure mix after a high-probability mix.
6. 434 = (50 + 3*(5-1)) * 7
8. Nothing in time